Getting Ready For Christmas: A Realistic Guide

Being prepared for Christmas is important. Unfortunately, for most of us, Christmas is something we are never really prepared for. It sneaks up on us. One day we are out minding our own business in the shops when BAM! A Christmas carol blasts over the speakers. The next thing you know you turn around and see a stand for Egg Nog casually displayed as if we all know exactly what Nog is. Just when we were ready to whip out our thongs and sunnies and relax, we realise that we have so much to do. Oh, if only Christmas would just fall on the same date each year, then we would be ready.

christmas 1

Using this guide, you can ensure that when Christmas looms you can be just as ready as the next person. That is, being under-prepared, throwing shit together at the last minute, remembering why you don’t visit your family more often and desperately needing of a holiday at the end of it all.

Just follow these simple steps and you will survive Christmas. Barely.

christmas 2

Step 1.

Buy enough Christmas cards to accommodate for all of your family, friends and distant relatives. This will make you feel like you are ‘on top of it all’. Feel free to disregard the fact that you don’t know the addresses of most of these people. You probably wont get around to sending them anyway and they will be placed in the ‘For Next Christmas’ pile at the back of your storage cupboard, along with remnants of old wrapping paper. At best you may wish to set a reminder on your phone to send Facebook messages to your relatives and friends closer to the date. This can be ignored at your leisure whilst feeling like you are organised. It will most likely go off when you are completely stress and don’t have any time.

Step 2.

Attempt to do some early Christmas shopping to beat the rush. This method helps you to ration out your spending and be more thorough with your gift choices. However, you will soon realise that you were not the only one to have this idea. Fighting for a parking spot is a Christmas tradition so get into the spirit early by stalking other shoppers in your car as they make their way back to their vehicle. Or, if you prefer simply idle in your car inconveniently in the middle of the lane whilst you wait for someone to leave. You are sure to hear some Christmas cheer from fellow drivers.

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Step 3.

The nicest thing about buying a real Christmas tree is the scent of pine throughout the house as the pine needles scatter their way into every corner and become embedded in the carpet. It also encourages extra vacuuming which keeps everybody happy.
Old plastic trees also create a sense of fun as everybody searches for the all-important missing parts for the stand.

Step 4.

Decorating the house with lights is as simple as plugging in the power in the garage and turning on the old lights you didn’t bother taking down last year. Otherwise get out that old ladder and tempt fate as you reach out across the guttering with a $10 bucket of fairy lights.

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Step 5.

Stepping out to attempt to buy presents again without a list may lead you to becoming that creepy person asking young sales assistants “Do young girls like these?” Best to just write down which gift cards that are most likely to not throw away. If they are under 25, just buy gift cards for those i-pod-whati-its and move on. If they are over 25, throw in some socks and a book of some sort to make it look like it has that personal touch. If anyone has stated ‘Don’t bring a thing’ to their Christmas party, give them exactly what they asked for. It will save you time and money, and just imagine the surprise on their face when they see you have obediently turned up empty-handed.

Step 6.

If you convinced yourself you would be able to host the family Christmas lunch, get ready early by going to the ham raffles at the local bowls club. Winning a hamper or a leg of ham could be the only helpful thing you receive this Christmas. Otherwise, start buying frozen shit that looks fancy that you can thaw out the day before. Be sure to buy some sprigs of various herbs or berries or whatever and garnish it like you mean it.

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Step 7.

Christmas crackers are a great way to share a bad joke amongst the family and also to create further mess around your home. But through all the excitement you mustn’t forget to remember the reason you have all come together. Take a quiet moment during your feast to celebrate the birth of baby Santa or whatever.

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Step 8.

When it is all over boxing day is a time when everyone comes together to return unwanted gifts at the shops. If you are lucky, you may be able to make some money back. But if you are like most people, you will just have a pile of chocolates surrounding you and only one delicious way to get rid of them all.

Step 9.

Nominate and encourage someone else to host the family Christmas lunch next year. If you are successful in persuading someone you can guarantee that next year, you will be able to have the best Christmas ever.

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Step 10. 

Batteries and additional step not included.

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What I Have Learnt From Travelling Overseas

Living in Australia offers many benefits: welfare support; free access to public hospitals; riding kangaroos to school, etc. The idea that anyone would want to expand their horizons, have new experiences elsewhere, and learn about another ‘kulcha’ are laughable.
straya
However, if you find yourself inclined to explore above and beyond the nether regions of the planet, you may begin to notice a few things. Firstly it is really, really, expensive to try to leave the country by any means of transport, and secondly if you are looking to travel to a ‘Westernised’ country your money will be about as worthless as the paper polypropylene plasticy-stuff it is printed on.
Whilst I love everything Down Under (…that’s what she said.) I have spent some time travelling to foreign places, ie. destinations slightly further than the Gold Coast. Following these extensive journeys, I have taken the time (during my work schedule) to compile some teachings which may offer little to no help for your future travels.

Things You Should Know About The World Beyond The Mainland:

  • Not all toilets were created equal
    Have you ever wiped the contents of your asshole and then placed your dirty toilet paper in an open bin next to you? I have, and it is every bit as disgusting as your are imagining. Throw in some ‘Bali belly’ and let your mind wander.
    Or, perhaps you have found yourself looking into the abyss of a squat toilet which is equipped with all the technological features you would expect from a hole in the ground?
    Ahh, finally I can relax.

    3-ply newspaper sold separately.

    3-ply newspaper sold separately.

  • You can never be too early to arrive at an airport
    I can’t stress this enough. And if you are travelling with me you will have no choice but to turn up early to every major event planned on the trip.
    “What’s that? We should catch a bus at 6am to get to the terminal? Great. See you there at 4.”
    “Nothing to do at the airport, you say? Hmmm, how about this GIANT SLIDE!!”
May cause travel sickness

May cause travel sickness.

  • You should always clean your house before you go
    Trust me, if you haven’t you will hate yourself and your life when you get back.
  •  Economy class really is as bad as you remember.
    But that’s ok, it’s not like you or anybody else needs to stretch their legs when on a 14 hour non-stop orgy of personal space.

    Your emergency exits are located next to those bitches who get slightly more legroom.

    Your emergency exits are located next to those bitches who get slightly more legroom.

  • You probably don’t need more clothes
    So you’ve packed your entire wardrobe into a suitcase and then you decide to do a little shopping. I find that shopping on a holiday is a bit like when I visit a buffet; things can get out of control really quickly.
    Generally speaking, any shirt you buy which states the place you visited will become your designated ‘bed shirt’ in no time at all.

    My next trip was to the charity bin.

  • Relish in any of the free shit on offer
    A holiday is hardly the time when one is expected to display any sense of self-control. One place where there is absolutely no place for judgement or self-restraint is at the hostel’s free communal breakfast. After spending your money seeing all the attractions, this may be your only meal for the day.
    Just eat everything available and steal a couple of apple juice poppers for the road like everybody else does.
A healthy mix of foreign cuisines.

A healthy mix of foreign cuisines.

  • You will encounter annoying people
    As with anywhere you go, you will encounter some form of interaction with strangers.  Inevitably one or more of them will start to get on your nerves and soon you may find yourself in the presence an obnoxious, loud, disrespectful, rude person. Please note that such people are commonly known internationally as ‘Western tourists.’
Please remain seated at all times.

Please remain seated at all times.

Holiday Ideas VS Reality

“As a stubborn dreamer, I offer the worst of both worlds – I’m completely unrealistic about pretty much everything, and yet I also refuse to budge an inch. Having a vivid imagination is great, unless you take what it produces seriously and expect it to be replicated in real life.”

Kristy Chambers, Author
“It’s Not You, Geography, It’s Me”

cropped-adventures.jpg

ROADTRIPS:
Idea:
Fun, hanging out, music blasting, beeping the horn at attractive pedestrians, wind in your hair.
Reality:
Limited legroom and air-conditioning when riding in the backseats, long tiring stretches of driving, pit stops at clearly unmaintained roadside toilets.

wrong turn

BACKPACKING:
Idea:
Being at one with nature, working out and earning your dinner, seeing sights off the beaten track.
Reality:
Battling excessive seating and mosquitoes, back pain that is only slightly relieved when you lay down on your yoga-mat sized mattress, realising you packed more useless crap than you needed and didn’t pack a few of the things that might actually have been handy.

wolf creek

HOSTELS:
Idea:

Saving money, staying in the centre of cities you normally wouldn’t be able to afford to, meeting new people.
Reality:
Not being able to sleep through the noise of the city, finding out there are only 2 toilets and showers for every 100 guests, bunking in an unventilated room that smells of your own and others body odours, meeting creepy people.

hostel

TROPICAL LOCATIONS:
Idea:
Clear water, jungles, romance, street food, relaxation.
Reality:
Vaccinations, no apparent health and safety rules on and off the rules on the island, mosquitoes, unbearable heat, seeing unhygenic practices after eating street foods.

reef
SNOWY LOCATIONS:
Idea:
Snow-capped mountains, snowball fights, snow man building, skiing, sipping hot chocolate by a fireplace.
Reality:
Constantly going in and outside and therefore having to repeatedly remove or add several layers of clothing, inabilty to feel any sensation in the face and fingertips due to frozen numbness, unexpected sunburn.

frozen
HISTORICAL LOCATIONS:
Idea:
Viewing a piece of history, understanding more about a culture and it’s people, being filled with wonder.
Reality:
Trying to get a photo without it being ruined by an obnoxiously-dressed person with a visor on and a camera around their neck, sitting in an un-air-conditioned bus for 3 hours to have a 25 minute look around at the site and a 35 minute compulsory stop at the gift shop.

ruins
TRAVELLING SOLO:
Idea:
Going at your own pace, doing all the things you want to do, freedom.
Reality:
Realising that being a lone female tourist is not actually the same reality as a lone male traveller and therefore making sure you don’t go down any alleyways and always returning to your room before sundown.

tourists

Anyway, ‘Bon Voyage’ and all that, I guess…